Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro formally became a candidate for Congress on Wednesday, after he said he filed paperwork to begin fundraising and campaigning for the seat held by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring next year.
“Throughout my years as a public servant, I have witnessed first-hand how my efforts can positively contribute to the growth and well-being of our residents in South Florida,” Barreiro, a Republican, said in a statement. “I have a pulse for the needs of our community, and understand the importance of having a strong advocate for South Floridians in Washington D.C.”
Barreiro is the first well-known Republican to enter the race for the Democratic-leaning 27th district, after announcing his plans to the Miami Herald last week. Former Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado is also interested in running, and national Republicans have reached out to Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Jeb Bush Jr. Maria Peiro has also filed to run.
Several Democrats are already in the contest, including state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez of Miami, who revealed his intentions to run Monday.
Barreiro has represented much of Ros-Lehtinen’s district on the commission, where he’s served in the District 5 seat since 1998, and in the Florida Legislature, where he represented District 107 in the state House from 1992-98. He isn’t term-limited from the commission until 2020, and won’t have to resign to run for federal office.
A Cuban-American, Barreiro was born in Clearwater but raised in Miami. He’s the elected state committeeman for the Miami-Dade Republican Executive Committee, and His wife, Zoraida, is running for Miami City Commission.
“As Congressman, I will work in a bipartisan manner to bring to the table important issues for our residents, such as economic prosperity, improved infrastructure, modernized and efficient transportation alternatives, affordable housing, viable healthcare options,” Barreiro said, “and so much more.”